Flash Fiction: Lindy

I stare at Lindy Phillips for a long, long time. I take in everything about her: the long tendril curls, undone in the water. The heart shaped mouth, lips pursed in surprise. The ripped white tights, fabric flayed open. The yellow dress I remembered as a gift from her mother, tattered. Her fingernails are painted a fire engine red, though I know nail polish isn’t kosher in her family. Maybe she painted them at a friend’s, I think. Before. At a party I was not invited to, because Lindy and I had a falling out last year and she doesn’t speak to me anymore.

girldrowningI stare at Lindy Phillips and absorb what I see. The image is confusing and distressing all at once, though I’m not entirely sure if either of those are the correct emotions. I should be screaming, shouldn’t I? Calling for help. I should be running, running far away from here. I should leave Lindy Phillips behind and not look back. They will ask me so many questions. They will tell me I must be traumatized, that I will now need lifelong therapy.

Lindy should have been more careful, they will say. I know because I hear them, when there are dead girls on the news and the salt and pepper anchor monotonously explains that she was walking alone, that she was wearing a short skirt, that she was a beloved daughter who just made all the wrong friends. They say things that me think she could have prevented it, that she was in control and let herself drift. I wonder if Lindy Phillips made all the wrong friends. If her dress was too short, her hair too pretty. I can’t tell, looking at her now. She just looks scared.

And I can’t stop staring at her. I watch her body, moving slightly where its moored in the river, caught between two rocks and the exposed root of an old tree. I can’t stop watching her mouth, wondering what she was thinking when the expression was made permanent. I observe all the parts I can see, even the ones I know I shouldn’t, because Lindy Phillips looks like me. Underneath the tattered dress, the ripped tights, the red nail polish. A young body grows and changes shape against her will. Changed shape, I think. There will be no more changing for Lindy.

She should have never painted those nails.

2 Responses to “Flash Fiction: Lindy”
  1. Dave says:

    Nice. I liked this piece, Hannah. But then I do have a penchant for the darker side 🙂

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